Massachusetts Medical Malpractice – Cervical Sprain
The cervical spine refers to the seven vertebrae that make up the neck. They are separated by disks that cushion each vertebrate. When the ligaments of the cervical spine are injured, this is called a cervical sprain. A ligament is an elastic–like, fibrous tissue that is an imperative part of the skeletal joint. Without ligaments, certain movements would not be possible and certain organs would not be supported. Car accidents, sports and other traumatic occurrences cause cervical sprains.
If the ligament is stressed beyond its normal range, this is when an injury can occur. Cervical sprains are very frightening because many people associate spinal cord injuries with paralysis. If a person is involved in a motor vehicle accident and believes s/he has compromised the cervical spine in any way, the victim should seek immediate medical attention. The symptoms of a cervical sprain include: instant sharp pain in the area, swelling, inability to move and stiffness.
When ligaments in the cervical vertebrate are stretched or torn beyond their normal range of motion, this is whiplash, a type of neck sprain. Whiplash is when the head moves suddenly in one direction and recoils in another, causing the neck to be forced beyond its normal range, usually caused by a hit from behind in an auto accident. Victims experience these symptoms: headaches, fatigue, dizziness, pain in the shoulder and between the shoulder blades and pain in one or both arms. Additional signs are sleep disturbance, poor concentration or memory or a sudden onset of ill–temperament or depression. Whiplash is more serious than people tend to believe, in fact, many victims never fully recover from it.
Complications arise in a cervical sprain when the victim has intense pain and muscle spasms. Doctors can prescribe painkillers and muscle relaxers to the victim. Also, the whiplash symptoms described in the above paragraph can stay with a victim for quite a long period of time, causing her/him to change daily routines and mobility. Individual treatment plans will help the individual prolonged symptoms of whiplash. For cervical sprains, doctors may prescribe a soft cervical collar that wraps around the neck, keeping it immobile as it heals. Physical therapy may also be a recommendation of the doctor as part of the treatment.
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